Sophia Laine is St. Boniface Hospital's physical therapist, working in our Spinal Cord Injury Center. She and the SCI team have been instrumental in helping earthquake survivors and countless other patients rebuild their lives and regain their independence. This is Sophia's story, in her own words.
I started working at Saint Boniface Hospital in 2013, in the Spinal Cord Injury Center. We had many patients with earthquake-related injuries. We have a schedule for each patient. They receive physical therapy twice a day. We do evaluations and see what the patient’s abilities are. After the evaluation, we create a treatment plan. It depends on the patient. Some patients spend two or three months here receiving physical therapy. The goal is for our patients to be independent.
After the earthquake, a person with a spinal cord injury was expected to live no more than three years. But we provide care to our patients even after they leave the hospital. We teach them how to be independent...We have a lot of patients who are doing well, 10 years later.
Sophia Laine, SBH physical therapist
I was in university in the Dominican Republic when the earthquake happened. My dad died during the earthquake. I was so sad and nervous. I was worried about my family. I was trying to come to Haiti but it wasn’t possible because of university. But all the while I was thinking, "Haiti needs me. Haiti needs help. I have to come back to Haiti". So when I finished university, I came back. When I saw that Port-au-Prince was destroyed, I was shocked. It was so sad.
St. Boniface helped a lot after the earthquake. Oh my God, I don't have the words for what has been done here. Ours was the only center that received spinal cord injury patients in the country. After the earthquake, a person with a spinal cord injury was expected to live no more than three years. But we provide care to our patients even after they leave the hospital. We teach them how to be independent. We follow our patients. We have a lot of patients who are doing well and it’s been ten years. Haiti has changed since the earthquake. It’s become a better place for people with disabilities. There’s more representation and there is more accessibility for people with disabilities.